Title: A state-of-the-art of industrial sustainability: definitions, tools and metrics

Authors: Marika Arena, Natalia Duque Ciceri, Sergio Terzi, Irene Bengo, Giovanni Azzone, Marco Garetti

Addresses: Department of Management, Economics and Industrial Engineering, Politecnico di Milano, Piazza Leonardo da Vinci 32, Milano 20133, Italy. ' Department of Management, Economics and Industrial Engineering, Politecnico di Milano, Piazza Leonardo da Vinci 32, Milano 20133, Italy. ' Department of Industrial Engineering, Universita degli Studi di Bergamo, Viale Marconi 5, Dalmine 24044, Italy. ' Department of Management, Economics and Industrial Engineering, Politecnico di Milano, Piazza Leonardo da Vinci 32, Milano 20133, Italy. ' Department of Management, Economics and Industrial Engineering, Politecnico di Milano, Piazza Leonardo da Vinci 32, Milano 20133, Italy. ' Department of Management, Economics and Industrial Engineering, Politecnico di Milano, Piazza Leonardo da Vinci 32, Milano 20133, Italy

Abstract: At present, a wide range of stakeholders including consumers, regulators, shareholders and public bodies are demanding that companies address sustainability in a more comprehensive way. However, even if a company actually wishes to innovate its processes for improving the way to account for sustainability, it will face relevant difficulties to deal with different guidelines, tools and methods currently addressing the matter from various points of view. The purpose of this paper is to review and synthesise literature on sustainability from an operational point of view with the objective to help companies to answer to three main questions: What is sustainability? (How it has been defined), How can sustainability of processes and products be achieved and measured? (What are the different existing means and indicators) and How can they be improved? In such a context, this paper investigates and debates the role of technological development, as an enabling factor of sustainability within the companies.

Keywords: industrial sustainability; sustainable development; definitions; tools; metrics; technological development.

DOI: 10.1504/IJPLM.2009.031674

International Journal of Product Lifecycle Management, 2009 Vol.4 No.1/2/3, pp.207 - 251

Available online: 17 Feb 2010 *

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